As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my buddy Frank is getting married. The wedding is now just a few days away, which meant that it was time to bake.
Weddings in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania in general have a pretty rad tradition: the cookie table. The cookie table is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a table piled high with cookies. The New York Times wrote about it, which officially makes it Serious Business. Traditionally, the cookies are made by friends and family members, though sometimes this task is outsourced to a bakery. Frank had asked me some time ago if I would be willing to contribute to the cookie table. I was honored and put myself down for about 30 dozen cookies.
Now, I could have done all of this baking myself, but I would have had to have started a while ago just to manage that much output from my tiny kitchen, so I was worried about freezing cookies for that long and having them taste not that swell. So, I got the idea to recruit my baking partner-in-crime, Mary, for an epic baking session much closer to the wedding.
Friday evening, Mary picked me up from work and we stopped at my house to grab my Kitchen Aid and some baking tools before heading to Costco to get our ingredients. Saturday morning, we woke up early and got right to work.
We spent the next 8 hours churning out batch after batch, stopping only for quick bites to eat and sips of water. It was an extremely efficient operation.
The whole house smelled absolutely HEAVENLY. We had a really hard time containing ourselves in the midst of so much deliciousness.
When it was all said and done, we made somewhere in the neighborhood of 375 cookies: Mexican Chocolate Cookies, Chai Butter Cookies, and Snickerdoodles. We were going to make Pomegranate Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies, but in planning the recipes, I totally forgot that late September isn’t yet pomegranate time. So we replaced those with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and experimented with a small batch of Salted Dulce de Leche Cookies just to see how hard or easy they were to make. (Verdict: making the dulce de leche is a little tricky, but the results are so delicious that I don’t even care.) On Friday, I’m taking the day off of work to go to the dentist and to finish baking some of the other cookies that I felt were too delicate to freeze, namely the Salted Dulce de Leche Cookies and Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing.
It didn’t hurt that the weather was pitch-perfect autumn weather…perfect for baking. I’ve really missed baking over the summer and can’t wait to do more of it.
All bagged up and ready to go.